Gamesindustry.biz titles "Google Lively to become online games platform" and quotes from an interview with Kevin K Hanna who works at X-Ray Kid, the company that was contracted by Google to produce during 2 years 3D content for Lively. Kevin says:
There is a longer term goal of opening up the API so the architecture of Lively could be used as an online games platform
Moreover he states
I'd like for it to be invisible, where when it makes sense to have 3D aspects of the web, that everyone will have already downloaded the plug-in, it's one of the first things you do when you install your machine, and you're able to just jump around and play in a creative space
Now, Kevin is not working at Google directly but both statements can be considered as a clear intention/vision. If this is the direction, they will try to create a big user base and enable the platform over a period of time.
… Beta-Style … 😉
In the late 90s and early 2000s we had Web3D like Pulse, TurnTool, Blaxxun etc etc where in most cases the interactive experience was very limited. Virtools with it's webplayer and it's hierarchical graph behaviour engine was ahead of it's time. I believe that nowadays we a have a new generation of web3d. So many companies come up with web3d applications and more and more of them are of complex interactivity like online 3d games. In addition to that more and more 3d authoring systems with webplayers are available or in the works.
The integrated 3D Gfx Intel chips still hurt as we see in the casual HW market stats published by the Unity3D guys. But it might be that with more and more available interactive 3D content, Intel has to deliver more performant integrated solutions. Larabee might do the job.